Watch the video: Janine Walsh, owner of Walker's Gymnastics and Dance in Lowell, explains why she purchased non-flame retardant foam pit cubes.
If you own a gymnastic facility, you may not be aware that the foam pit cubes used to cushion gymnasts contain flame retardants. Unfortunately, studies have shown that gymnasts, especially children, can have high levels of these toxins in their bodies.
Over a decade of research indicates that some flame retardants can harm the developing brain, have been linked to cancer as well as reproductive health issues, and several are considered endocrine disruptors (mimic hormones and disrupt the thyroid hormone system). Read a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Are flame retardants needed in your facility to reduce ignition of fires?
TURI awarded a grant to Silent Spring Institute to investigate fire standards and flame retardant alternatives for the polyurethane foam cubes used in gymnastics facilities. Silent Spring worked with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to test the flammability of the cubes with and without flame retardants.
The WPI research results determined that there was not enough of a benefit for fire protection to make the potential health risks from flame retardants worth it. Read the TURI Guidance Letter to make sure that your facility has measures in place to ensure safety should a fire break out.
Walker's Gymnastics & Dance in Lowell and Gymnastics And More in Woburn Switch to Flame Retardant-free Pit Cubes
With the help of TURI Small Business Grants, Walker's Gymnastics & Dance in Lowell and Gymnastics and More in Woburn purchased flame retardant-free pit cubes.
Lowell Sun article: "For Lowell gym, there's no place like (new, safe) foam"
Case study: Walker's Gymnastics and Dance in Lowell